over the family business. attending the


A vast new bronze sculpture is shortly to be unveiled at the top of Leith Walk in Edinburgh. The commission shows that the city is at last waking up to the genius ofone of its native sons,


SIR EDUARDO PAOLOZZI. who has been renowned internationally for many years. Miranda France looks back on the career of Britain‘s foremost sculptor.

or the bicylists and pedestrians l who dice with death in Picardy Place every day. it is has been hard to believe that the apocalyptic building site at the topof Leith I Walk would ever disappear. But. ! after months of disruption. Edinburgh i District (‘ouncil is finally lifting the curtain | on the last part of its Leith Walk Environmental Improvement Scheme. Reincarnated as a ‘calm haven of rest‘. the area behind the St James Centre will feature a specially commissioned sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi. Britain's best-known living sculptor and a man who was born little more than a stone‘s throw from Picardy place. in Leith itself.

Paolozzi‘s parents were Italian Scots and ran an ice-cream business. but he chose art

Edinburgh Art (‘ollege and then the Slade in London. Paolozzi‘s precocious talent was matched by an early recognition of his

abilities: in 1947. the year that he left the

B'l‘he List 28June l 1 July 1991

Slade. Horizon magazine described him as 'exceptionally talented'. forecasting that his creativity would find its greatest expression in sculpture. It took less than ten years for Paolozzi to establish an international _ reputation based in part on his work as one of the founders of Pop Art.

These days he refutes the title. apparently preferring to think of himself as an ‘unfashionahle surrealist‘. and it is true that while some ofhis prints and collages. like Pop Art. express a fascination with tacky ephemera. they are not a celebration of consumerism. Paolozzi‘s work. however playful. concerns itselfwith politics. environment and society: part of his


long word which can be


Paolozzi's gigantic bronze-cast tool is 6ft high and 12h long. ltwill be joinedin

Picardy Place by an equally impressive bronze hand.